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“Zombieland” series gains its Wichita in Maiara Walsh

Jesse Eisenberg stars in Columbia Pictures’ comedy ZOMBIELAND.

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Yet another actress had joined the upcoming Amazon “Zombieland” series. This time it’s “Switched at Birth” star Maiara Walsh, who will take the Wichita role previously held by Emma Stone.

The Hollywood Reporter has the news, and describes the character as “a natural con-woman and tough girl who with her younger sister Little Rock teams up with Columbus to survive the zombie apocalypse and search for survivors.” That’s pretty similar to how she was defined in a leaked casting call, which read:

Wichita is still trying to look after Little Rock, trying to teach her math with problems about someone stealing from a liquor store and jumping on a train going 42 miles per hour, with a cop chasing in a car going 88 miles per hour. We also learn a lot more about Wichita’s backstory, including how she ran away from her father after he had her stealing people’s Christmas presents — and later, she found out she had a sister who was also being a grifter with her dad.

The series recently cast Columbus and Little Rock as well. Tyler Ross will play the Jesse Eisenberg role while Izabela Vidovic will portray the character created by Abigail Breslin. No word yet on who will play Woody Harrelson’s Tallahassee or the reported new rolesof Fred and Ainsley.

The “Zombieland” series is using the film as a jumping off point but seems to be creating its own universe. “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’s” Eli Craig is directing the show’s pilot episode, while Reese, Wrenick and Gavin Polone will executive produce.

What do you think of the cast so far for the “Zombieland” TV series? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

Soap tv show

As the Spoof Turns

15 Hilarious Soap Opera Parodies

Catch the classic sitcom Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures Television

The soap opera is the indestructible core of television fandom. We celebrate modern series like The Wire and Breaking Bad with their ongoing storylines, but soap operas have been tangling more plot threads than a quilt for decades. Which is why pop culture enjoys parodying them so much.

Check out some of the funniest soap opera parodies below, and be sure to catch Soap Saturday mornings on IFC.

1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman

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Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman was a cult hit soap parody from the mind of Norman Lear that poked daily fun at the genre with epic twists and WTF moments. The first season culminated in a perfect satire of ratings stunts, with Mary being both confined to a psychiatric facility and chosen to be part of a Nielsen ratings family.


2. IKEA Heights

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IKEA Heights proves that the soap opera is alive and well, even if it has to be filmed undercover at a ready-to-assemble furniture store totally unaware of what’s happening. This unique webseries brought the classic formula to a new medium. Even IKEA saw the funny side — but has asked that future filmmakers apply through proper channels.


3. Fresno

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When you’re parodying ’80s nighttime soaps like Dallas and Dynasty , everything about your show has to equally sumptuous. The 1986 CBS miniseries Fresno delivered with a high-powered cast (Carol Burnett, Teri Garr and more in haute couture clothes!) locked in the struggle for the survival of a raisin cartel.


4. Soap

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Soap was the nighttime response to daytime soap operas: a primetime skewering of everything both silly and satisfying about the source material. Plots including demonic possession and alien abduction made it a cult favorite, and necessitated the first televised “viewer discretion” disclaimer. It also broke ground for featuring one of the first gay characters on television in the form of Billy Crystal’s Jodie Dallas. Revisit (or discover for the first time) this classic sitcom every Saturday morning on IFC.


5. Too Many Cooks

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Possibly the most perfect viral video ever made, Too Many Cooks distilled almost every style of television in a single intro sequence. The soap opera elements are maybe the most hilarious, with more characters and sudden shocking twists in an intro than most TV scribes manage in an entire season.


6. Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

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Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace was more mockery than any one medium could handle. The endless complications of Darkplace Hospital are presented as an ongoing horror soap opera with behind-the-scenes anecdotes from writer, director, star, and self-described “dreamweaver visionary” Garth Marenghi and astoundingly incompetent actor/producer Dean Learner.


7. “Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive,” MadTV

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Soap opera connoisseurs know that the most melodramatic plots are found in Korea. MADtv‘s parody Tae Do  (translation: Attitudes and Feelings, Both Desirable and Sometimes Secretive) features the struggles of mild-mannered characters with far more feelings than their souls, or subtitles, could ever cope with.


8. Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks, the twisted parody of small town soaps like Peyton Place whose own creator repeatedly insists is not a parody, has endured through pop culture since it changed television forever when it debuted in 1990. The show even had it’s own soap within in a soap called…


9. “Invitation to Love,” Twin Peaks

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Twin Peaks didn’t just parody soap operas — it parodied itself parodying soap operas with the in-universe show Invitation to Love. That’s more layers of deceit and drama than most televised love triangles.


10. “As The Stomach Turns,” The Carol Burnett Show

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The Carol Burnett Show poked fun at soaps with this enduring take on As The World Turns. In a case of life imitating art, one story involving demonic possession would go on to happen for “real” on Days of Our Lives.


11. Days of our Lives (Friends Edition)

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Still airing today, Days of Our Lives is one of the most famous soap operas of all time. They’re also excellent sports, as they allowed Friends star Joey Tribbiani to star as Dr Drake Ramoray, the only doctor to date his own stalker (while pretending to be his own evil twin). And then return after a brain-transplant.

And let’s not forget the greatest soap opera parody line ever written: “Come on Joey, you’re going up against a guy who survived his own cremation!”


12. Acorn Antiques

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First appearing on the BBC sketch comedy series Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, Acorn Antiques combines almost every low-budget soap opera trope into one amazing whole. The staff of a small town antique store suffer a disproportional number of amnesiac love-triangles, while entire storylines suddenly appear and disappear without warning or resolution. Acorn Antiques was so popular, it went on to become a hit West End musical.


13. “Point Place,” That 70s Show

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In a memorable That ’70s Show episode, an unemployed Red is reduced to watching soaps all day. He becomes obsessed despite the usual Red common-sense objections (like complaining that it’s impossible to fall in love with someone in a coma). His dreams render his own life as Point Place, a melodramatic nightmare where Kitty leaves him because he’s unemployed. (Click here to see all airings of That ’70s Show on IFC.)


14. The Spoils of Babylon

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Bursting from the minds of Will Ferrell and creators Andrew Steele and Matt Piedmont, The Spoils of Babylon was a spectacular parody of soap operas and epic mini-series like The Thorn Birds. Taking the parody even further, Ferrell himself played Eric Jonrosh, the author of the book on which the series was based. Jonrosh returned in The Spoils Before Dying, a jazzy murder mystery with its own share of soapy twists and turns.

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15. All My Children Finale, SNL

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SNL‘s final celebration of one of the biggest soaps of all time is interrupted by a relentless series of revelations from stage managers, lighting designers, make-up artists, and more. All of whom seem to have been married to or murdered by (or both) each other.

“Zombieland” series casts its Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin replacements

Jesse Eisenberg stars in Columbia Pictures’ comedy ZOMBIELAND.

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Now that Amazon has picked up the “Zombieland” TV series, production is moving forward at lightning speed. Writers/producers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick have cast two new actos in the roles of Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin’s characters.

Tyler Ross will play Columbus, while Izabela Vidovic will play Little Rock, /Film reports. That still leaves the roles of Tallahassee and Wichita to be cast, as well as some new characters that are going to be introduced in the series.

The “Zombieland” series is using the film as a jumping off point but seems to be creating its own universe. “Tucker and Dale vs. Evil’s” Eli Craig is directing the show’s pilot episode, while Reese, Wrenick and Gavin Polone will executive produce. Here’s the casting call originally released about the show:

Tallahassee is still kind of a snarky weirdo, but he seems to have a much less spiky relationship with Columbus. He and Columbus have a pretty amusing thing where they riff on the fact that Steven Seagal movies always have three-word titles like “Marked for Justice” or “May Cause Diarrhea.” But Tallahassee also dispenses homespun wisdom about how to feel happy with your life. He also tells a weird story about being in a trailer park with a perpetually nude Matthew McConaughey. He also has a somewhat heartwarming scene where he tells Columbus that he’s been wandering aimlessly for a long time, but maybe he’s been put here for a reason — to help Columbus and the others.

Columbus is much the same, except that he tracks down his grandma and grandpa (Bubbie and Peepaw) only to find them recently zombiefied. Also, Columbus is trying to deal with his newfound relationship with Wichita, after their first kiss. He has started calling her “Krista,” her real name — but there are some problems, especially after she finds him reading a book about fatherhood. He tries to organize a romantic scavenger hunt for her in the IKEA they’re camping out in, but it goes kind of horribly.

Wichita is still trying to look after Little Rock, trying to teach her math with problems about someone stealing from a liquor store and jumping on a train going 42 miles per hour, with a cop chasing in a car going 88 miles per hour. We also learn a lot more about Wichita’s backstory, including how she ran away from her father after he had her stealing people’s Christmas presents — and later, she found out she had a sister who was also being a grifter with her dad.

Little Rock seems actually kind of excited about meeting Columbus’ grandparents, before they turn out to be zombies. And she shares some of her own backstory, about how her dad parked her at a school while he went off grifting on his own — and then yanked her out of school right before a dance that she was looking forward to.

Fred and Ainsley are two office workers at the start of the zombie apocalypse, obliviously complaining about problems with their iPhones and getting the wrong order at Starbucks, which they admit are “first world problems” with a hashtag — while people are being disembowled just outside the window they’re not facing. Tallahassee shows up to bring them their lunch orders, wearing a green polo shirt.

Do you think it’s smart to go with relative unknowns for this show? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

“Zombieland” TV show in the works? Here’s the casting call

Jesse Eisenberg stars in Columbia Pictures’ comedy ZOMBIELAND.

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A “Zombieland” sequel might not be happening, but a TV show could be in the works. A casting call and some script pages have been leaked from the prospective project, so it seems like the plan to bring Tallahassee and Columbus back isn’t as dead in the water as we had once thought.

io9 got the scoop on the planned TV series, and has posted how the central characters on the show would differ from those in the Ruben Fleischer movie. Keep in mind, this isn’t a guarantee the show will happen, but just a taste of what it could look like. Here’s the full casting call:

Tallahassee is still kind of a snarky weirdo, but he seems to have a much less spiky relationship with Columbus. He and Columbus have a pretty amusing thing where they riff on the fact that Steven Seagal movies always have three-word titles like “Marked for Justice” or “May Cause Diarrhea.” But Tallahassee also dispenses homespun wisdom about how to feel happy with your life. He also tells a weird story about being in a trailer park with a perpetually nude Matthew McConaughey. He also has a somewhat heartwarming scene where he tells Columbus that he’s been wandering aimlessly for a long time, but maybe he’s been put here for a reason — to help Columbus and the others.

Columbus is much the same, except that he tracks down his grandma and grandpa (Bubbie and Peepaw) only to find them recently zombiefied. Also, Columbus is trying to deal with his newfound relationship with Wichita, after their first kiss. He has started calling her “Krista,” her real name — but there are some problems, especially after she finds him reading a book about fatherhood. He tries to organize a romantic scavenger hunt for her in the IKEA they’re camping out in, but it goes kind of horribly.

Wichita is still trying to look after Little Rock, trying to teach her math with problems about someone stealing from a liquor store and jumping on a train going 42 miles per hour, with a cop chasing in a car going 88 miles per hour. We also learn a lot more about Wichita’s backstory, including how she ran away from her father after he had her stealing people’s Christmas presents — and later, she found out she had a sister who was also being a grifter with her dad.

Little Rock seems actually kind of excited about meeting Columbus’ grandparents, before they turn out to be zombies. And she shares some of her own backstory, about how her dad parked her at a school while he went off grifting on his own — and then yanked her out of school right before a dance that she was looking forward to.

Fred and Ainsley are two office workers at the start of the zombie apocalypse, obliviously complaining about problems with their iPhones and getting the wrong order at Starbucks, which they admit are “first world problems” with a hashtag — while people are being disembowled just outside the window they’re not facing. Tallahassee shows up to bring them their lunch orders, wearing a green polo shirt.

Would you rather see the “Zombieland” follow-up as a TV show or movie? What do you think of these character descriptions? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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